Danish TV reporter cut off by Qatar security staff during live broadcast

TV2 journalist Rasmus Tantholdt was told to stop filming and threatened with the destruction of his camera equipment by local security staff during a live broadcast from FIFA World Cup host nation Qatar.

Danish TV reporter cut off by Qatar security staff during live broadcast
Danish TV journalist Rasmus Tantholdt was ordered to stop filming during a live broadcast in Qatar. File photo: Mathias Eis/Ritzau Scanpix

During the live broadcast, studio host Troels Mylenberg refers to criticism of Qatar and asks Tantholdt his experience of this first-hand.

In response, the reporter says “I can show you what conditions are like if we turn the camera”.

The clip of the live broadcast, which was subsequently spread on social media, then shows three Qatar officials demanding the Danish TV crew stop filming.

“We are live on Danish television,” Tantholdt says as he switches to English and shows his press accreditation.

“You invited the whole world to come here. Why can’t we film? It’s a public place,” he then protests.

He then says “do you want to break the camera? So you’re threatening us by smashing the camera”.

Tantholdt, who is well known in Denmark as a war journalist and has reported from locations including Syria and Ukraine, later tweeted that he had received an apology from Qatar International Media Office and Qatar Supreme Committee following the incident.

Denmark’s DBU football association has been one of the more critical voices of FIFA’s decision to award the World Cup to Qatar.

READ ALSO: Denmark will not send representative to Qatar World Cup unless new government in place

The men’s national team will wear a subdued kit during the upcoming tournament in a protest by manufacturer Hummel over human rights in the Gulf country.

The Danish team was denied permission by FIFA to wear training kit displaying a pro-human rights message while in Qatar.

National team coach Kasper Hjulmand has said the players will be “focused on football” during the tournament.

Tantholdt told his employer TV2 that authorities in Qatar seem unused to scrutiny from international media.

“They are afraid that some of these things will come out. My experience after having travelled to 110 countries around the world is that the more dirty laundry you have in the basement that you don’t want on show, the harder it is for us journalists to report. That’s what we’re seeing here,” he said.

“They do not like the inpouring of journalists who are running around to migrant camps and filming all over the place and interviewing homosexual people on the streets. Exposing the things Qatar is not necessarily happy to show the rest of the world,” he said.

“They want to show a huge football party, that everything is good. But as we can see, this must apparently happen with their permission,” he said.

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Danish broadcaster apologises for ‘unintended racism’ in segment on Moroccan football team

Danish broadcaster TV2 has issued an apology in Danish and English after a segment in which its presenters appeared to compare Moroccan footballers and their families with monkeys.

Danish broadcaster apologises for ‘unintended racism' in segment on Moroccan football team

Denmark’s broadcaster TV2 has apologised for a segment which it said made an “unintentional” comparison between Morocco’s footballers and a family of monkeys, in a clip that has now been reported by international media in the Middle East.

In a segment on the programme News & Co. about Morocco’s footballers celebrating with their mothers after World Cup matches, TV2 presenters appeared to compare them with a photograph of monkeys which was the subject of the following segment.

While one presenter, Søren Lippert, holds a photo of a family of monkeys, co-presenter Christian Høgh Andersen says “this is in extension of Morocco gathering their families in Qatar”.

“We have an animal family gathered here, maybe to stay warm,” he continues as the camera pans onto the photo.

Asked by another voice out of picture why he’s making a connection between the two, Andersen says “because they’re sticking together, and that’s also what they’re doing with the family reunification in Morocco”. He uses the Danish legal term for family reunification, fammiliesammenføring.

Both Lippert and Andersen responded after the clip was spread on social media with an English translation added.

Lippert, who was holding the picture but didn’t make the remarks, said that “however unintentional, the comparison made in the program is not ok”.

In a longer statement posted on Facebook, Andersen said he wanted to give an “unreserved apology” for the comments.

“In a poor attempt at humour I drew a line between sticking together as a family when the next topic about animals was presented in the studio,” he wrote.

“Unintentionally it became a comparison between Morocco’s national football team and the family of monkeys which my co-host Søren Lippert was holding a picture of and which we were using for the next segment,” he wrote.

“I am very sorry and I want to give an unreserved apology for this,” he wrote.

The broadcaster published an apology in Danish and English on its website, saying that the section “can be perceived as a racist comment, and both TV2 and Christian Høgh Andersen would like to give a profound apology for that.”

“We deeply apologize that a host on TV2 News made a comment that is both wrong and offensive. Although it was not the intention of the host, it is a remark that both our host and TV2 dissociate from. This was a clear mistake, we apologize for it, and we will take it into account in our work at TV2 News,” the broadcaster’s editor-in-chief Anne Mette Svane said in the statement.

“TV2 has apologized to the viewers who have contacted TV2, and also believes it is necessary to dissociate from the inappropriate comment publicly,” the statement adds.

The broadcaster has also apologised on social media in response to international media reporting on the clip, including by Qatar-based media al-Jazeera.

The incident was not the only time the broadcaster came under pressure for inappropriate comments during the World Cup.

In November, commentator Thomas Kristensen was criticised for comparing Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku with King Kong during live commentary. Kristensen defended the remark by saying he meant to compare Lukaku with “a monster who everyone is scared of, and nothing else”.